Organic forms, unusual materials and process-oriented work create a dialog between the artists. Both undermine the structure of hardness by visually breaking it down in translucent layers or rendering it in soft materials. Hard versus soft, solid versus layered, strong yet delicate, both body of works contain opposing qualities creating an intrinsic contradiction that is visually engaging. Stephanie Metz’s use of felted wool is an ongoing investigation into its potential for physical manipulation and conceptual redefinition. Her current body of work, Flesh & Bone, is a series of small studies and human sized sculptures that reference parts of the body, from soft weighty folds of flesh to the stripped down abstract architecture of bones. Metz’s process is laborious and exacting: a slow, deliberate accumulation of fibers compacted into nearly solid and precise shapes through repetitive hand work with sharp, notched felting needles. Felt may be a ubiquitous material, yet few are familiar with its manufacture or its sculptural capacity. Kyong Ae Kim’s recent work Paper Stroke and The Skulls directs us to study the symbiotic relationships of living creatures. While fragile and vulnerable they are constantly challenged by their surroundings to evolve and hybridize. Kyong sculpts miniature figurines, which are photographed and digitally manipulated. Subsequently, the digital images are transformed into multiple layers to imply the time and evolutionary processes. Kyong’s latest work, The Skulls, is sourced from photographs of endangered species such as the polar bear and elephant. The artist oscillates between the virtual and physical steps to amplify the images. These processes are vital to precisely eliminate, layer, simplify, and hybridize the forms to generate the complexity.
Stephanie Metz received her BFA from the University of Oregon and lives and works in San Jose, California. Her work is currently featured in the 2015 Rijswijk Textile Biennial in the Netherlands as well as the exhibitions Sculptural Felt International and Black Sheep, each touring the United Kingdom. Her numerous group exhibitions include FiberArt International at the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts, Creatures: From Bigfoot to the Yeti Crab at the Sun Valley Center for the Arts in Idaho, Formex Stockholm 2008 in Stockholm, Sweden, and Transmission: Experience at the Institute of Contemporary Arts, Singapore.
Kyong Ae Kim was born in South Korea. She received her BFA in Painting from Chung Ang University in South Korea and her MFA in Painting from the San Francisco Art Institute. After, Kyong temporarily relocated to Boston, and now lives and practices in San Francisco. Her work has been featured in the Boston Globe and New American Paintings and her recent exhibitions include the San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art, Vessel Gallery in Oakland, Root Division in San Francisco, the Marin Museum of Contemporary Arts, OHT Gallery in Boston, Judy Rotenberg Gallery in Boston, and Watson Fine Art at Wheaton College in Boston. Currently, her work is on exhibit in “Cut Up/Cut Out” at the Bedford Gallery Lesher Center for the Arts.